CHARLOTTE, N.C. - NASCAR on Monday tried to figure out why Kyle Busch's HANS device cracked during a spectacular crash at Talladega Superspeedway.
The frustrated driver, meanwhile, was trying to make sense of two hard wrecks that ruined his weekend. Busch wrecked in Saturday's Busch Series event, when he was hit from behind and his car ended up on its roof before rolling several times through the grass. His HANS device, a NASCAR-mandated head-and- neck restraint system, cracked in the accident.
"It performed the way it was supposed to, but it had a slight stress crack in it after the accident," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said.
NASCAR sent the device back to manufacturer Hubbard Downing in Georgia for examination.
Busch, who also wrecked hard in Sunday's Nextel Cup event, has not seen the device but was told by his crew it had cracked. He wasn't overly concerned about it since he wasn't injured in the accident.
"I've been in some pretty bad wrecks, but that was the first time I ever got upside down or anything," he said. "It wasn't fun. It wasn't too terribly bad when I was on the roof going down the straightaway, but when it headed toward the grass I planned for the worst.
"I flipped my visor open and put my hands in my helmet to grab on, then I tucked down and got in the fetal position and planned for the worst. I just wanted to support my head as best I could for when it started flipping."
Busch doesn't like the grass that lines parts of the backstretch at Talladega, and believes it might have caused his car to flip. The car initially skid on its roof, and didn't begin flipping until it hit the grass. "That's definitely an issue that maybe Talladega can take care of for us," he said. "They did the repave job and took most of the grass out, but there's still some there and the car didn't roll until I got to it. I would have much happier sliding on my roof all the way." Busch said he plans to speak to NASCAR officials about it this weekend. NASCAR is already aware of the complaint, and said the track removed considerable amounts of grass when it was repaved last year. What's left is used for drainage. Busch, who turns 22 this week, said he's frustrated after a poor month of racing in which he wrecked two cars in Texas, a Busch car in Phoenix and then the two accidents at Talladega. "It's devastating," he said. "I don't know what to do and if there was something I could change I would. I didn't wreck a car all year and then the past month ... all of a sudden we can't do anything right and can't avoid anything."
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